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SNP membership swells after MPs' mass walkout in Westminster

14 June 2018

The SNP will continue to "frustrate what the government are doing as much as we possibly can", the party's Westminster leader has said.

Mr Lewis said: "It was quite a dramatic PMQs and it seems like she stole the show after the SNP because the Speaker called her out basically and said what a well-behaved baby".

Tempers flared after time ran out for debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill on Tuesday night as MPs were set to consider what the SNP has termed a "power grab" by Westminster over responsibilities returning to the United Kingdom from Brussels.

"I am not prepared to sit back and see powers taken from Scottish parliament", he concluded, to a round of applause from SNP MPs behind him.

"What we saw last night is the government ramming through legislation that takes responsibility of 24 areas back from the Scottish Parliament but remarkably without debate".

Mr Blackford said it was a "democratic outrage" that more time had not been allocated to debating the issue on Tuesday and said he had "no option but to insist that this house sits in private".

"Scotland's voice has not been heard. that's a democratic outrage", he said.

Liddell-Grainger later told Somerset Live that he had "made a remark about "political suicide" and that critics could "take their objections and stuff them".

He was protesting at MPs being given around an hour to consider over 50 amendments to the Brexit bill on devolution.

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"We will remain civil, we will remain polite, we will remain courteous".

Mr Blackford hinted that his party would next target the government's Trade Bill, which aims to ensure the United Kingdom can continue its existing trade policy as far as possible immediately after Brexit.

The passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill meant powers which were supposed to return to the Scottish Parliament after the United Kingdom leaves the EU would go to Westminster for a period of seven years, a move which SNP MPs broke with the Sewel convention that changes to devolution would not occur without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Bercow said it would be better to deal with the issue at the end of the question session.

That was the cue for Blackford to call for a vote in the House of Commons.

"Disappointed, if not surprised, that if they really felt so strongly about it, they chose a stunt over holding the Government to account".

Mr Mundell, the Scottish secretary, is due to give a statement on the row to MPs at about 13:00.

He added: "Our commitment is that we will always seek consent in relation to the frameworks that will come forward as a result of this bill".

"It is a power grab and MPs from Scotland were not even given the courtesy of debating it last night".

SNP membership swells after MPs' mass walkout in Westminster